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husband lied about "friend" when we were dating


catmantoo
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Hi everyone. I am having a relationship problem and not sure what to do in order to feel better and let it go. I am also not sure if I am holding on to it too much and allowing it to destroy my relationship. I have a history of unstable relationships and a difficulty in trusting people and opening up, so I am considering that the current conflict is largely my fault. I was hoping to get a reality check by posting here.

I got married to my husband in June of last year. It was a very quick and romantic marriage, after 9 months of knowing each other. We met online the previous September, met in-person during October, and settled into a relationship shortly thereafter. I went away for a month in January and when I came back in February, we decided to move in, then get married. Our marriage has been very good, we have had our arguments (topics of ex girlfriends sending emails was probably the worst) but nothing that was too terrible or even that surprising. Basically, no cheating, no verbal or emotional abuse. There is a lot of care and understanding, as we are both very sensitive and know what it is like to be outsiders in the world. On the plus side he has also been getting into a spiritual practice with me, which gives me hope for the growth of our partnership.

The problem - I found out that while we were seeing each other from October to the beginning of February when I got back, there was this girl he was hanging out with on occasion that he wasn't telling me about. She was, as he has said, just a friend, and someone who he found "annoying" at that. However, she was also someone that he has a sexual relationship/fling with the summer before we met. (He told me he hadn't been with anyone sexually since his last relationship ended when I asked him early on - he just left his experience with this girl out of the picture)

I found out because his family was here and his Dad mentioned her name. I guess she cooked food for them once in February when she dropped by (unannounced according to my husband) and she and my husband walked to the store together for food... Anyway, I didn't even know that my husband knew her... I had seen her around and they barely acknowledged each other... I was only around the two of them three times, maybe four, and every time was just feeling like she was rude and that they had a strange, awkward relationship. I had no idea he was emailing her, had been eating food with her and his family a few weeks before, was talking about making plans to play music together (he says that never happened and he was just humoring her, but there is evidence he at least tried to get together and she was busy) etc. It really hurts and I feel like such a fool for not picking up on things earlier, back then. In fact, it really feels like the two of them had a good secret on me - the secret of their relationship - and that he must have cared much more for her, to have kept this illusion of friendship with her and to have lied about it with me.

He has told me that they were only together sexually a few times in the early summer, and that their relationship just slowed down from there. He said it only lasted a few weeks to maybe a month. However I made the stupid, heat-of-the-moment decision to go through his email because I didn't believe him, and it seems like she was really a bigger part of his life then he has let on, that they were together longer then a month, more like a few months, but he denies it. So we continue to fight about my suspicions even though this part happened before I came into his life and seems like it shouldn't matter. I guess it matters to me because I feel like it is one part of an overall dishonesty. The worst part is that I am having a horrible time letting it go. I know it shouldn't matter because it was before me, but I've read some emails and feel like he's just lying because he wants to do damage control. I'm obsessing about it, basically. And it is making me and him miserable.

The relationship between the two of them, which he insists was one where he was annoyed by her and wanted her to go away (though the emails suggest that while he wasn't reaching out to her, he was very friendly and willing to let her know his schedule so that they could hang out while he and I were dating) eventually stopped right around the time I came back/starting moving in in February. She was coming over to hang out with his room mate and they were pretending not to know each other (or, he says, he was annoyed she was over here and ignoring her. still why was she ignoring him? he says he doesn't know). I remember one time she came over and I answered the door and she was weird with me. It was just he and I at the house, and he came out and asked her a little bit about her job or whatever - never introduced me to her, which I thought was rude, but he has always been bad with me socially, and I didn't want to appear suspicious so I kept it to myself. She seemed like she wanted to get away from him and answered a few questions and left.

He tells me that he just started ignoring her more and more often and that when they would run into each other she'd ask why they weren't hanging out more often, etc, and he'd just say he couldn't. That basically, it probably started to get through to her that he didn't want to hang out (that much). Still, I feel doubtful. He was responding to the vast majority of her emails, and had posted on FB about losing his phone, tagging her in the post about how he didn't have it on him. (he claims they never hung out that month I was gone and he was ignoring her texts, I have a hard time believing that) Whatever the case, they did stop talking eventually the last email she sent was a week before I moved in and she was asking for her blender back, like it was a breakup or something.

It has been almost a month that he and I have been dealing with this coming to light. I feel like he lied to me about something I would have REALLY liked to know about at a time which was sort of... the foundation of our marriage. I feel like I still can't trust what he says. He knows this. I've told him. In fact, I feel like I am going nowhere with him and myself by pursuing the same line of questioning, which he says feel like interrogation, and honestly, it is. I had to interrogate the truth out of him about her, so I'm not entirely convinced he'll just willingly be honest about it. Still, I am having trouble obsessing about the details of the relationship, and how he lied to me about hanging out with her and talking to her when we were dating/before I moved in. Should I be over this by now? I don't know what I can do. It does feel like I am ruining the relationship bringing this up every day. He said to me this morning that he felt like it was over between us. We just go from good times to bad - fighting to loving. I am worried about the future and I believe he is too. I just feel like it is all on me to get over it, and I am having a hard time doing that. Am I obsessing to avoid the pain of him lying to me? It's like, I can't stop feeling bad about this and it's making me feel bad. I am being distant from my husband and he is getting upset about how distant I am. I wish he would just leave me alone to be upset for a while sometimes, but maybe that's just stewing..

Thanks for reading. Any reality checking or advice or anything would be appreciated.

catmantoo

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I think he had feelings for her but they weren't that strong or deep. She claimed to be "polyamourous" meaning into open relationships, so I guess he thought that meant she wouldn't get attached. Seems like cheap thrills, with an attempt to be "friends" after that part stopped. She had told him she still loved him and they were trying to be friends, I guess. I don't know what to believe about how long their physical relationship lasted. They stopped talking almost a year ago, right before I moved into his house. I am sad that he did not tell me about her back then - that he hid their contact and hanging out from me - and that I had to find out about this through his dad. It makes me feel very mistrustful and I think about it everyday, not that I want to... :(

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Resolute - thanks. That stings, but I wanted honest opinions. Wish I could really believe I'm making too big a deal of the situation. It just seems so huge to me. I don't want to destroy my marriage. Maybe I just need to learn how to deal/let go?? Obviously I don't know how at the moment..

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Resolute - thanks. That stings, but I wanted honest opinions. Wish I could really believe I'm making too big a deal of the situation. It just seems so huge to me. I don't want to destroy my marriage. Maybe I just need to learn how to deal/let go?? Obviously I don't know how at the moment..

i know, some things can be easier said than done, but you might still be able to try at least.

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Yes. I know. I do try, seems like I bring it up once a day, though we aren't fighting as much when I do - finding calm ways to talk about it. What's wrong with me? Ugh. We are going to travel together soon hopefully that shakes us out of routine a bit and can bring some new air into the relationship.

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Catmantoo.....do you have insurance or have the means to see a therapist?

There was a time not too long ago I rolled my eyes and scoffed at the idea of 'professional help'. Now I really believe the right person CAN be an immense help to a couple.

I and my wife had major problems, but many of mine was with her old boyfriends.

At least the therapists office gave us kind of a neutral grounds type of place to vent, and ours would jump in and guide the conversation.

Just a thought.

Edit: I thought the name was a take off of Kathmandu, Nepal. Thought to be the inspiration for the fable of Shangri-La. Just shows I read way too much into things.

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I think if you are struggling with trust in your marriage, counseling is a good suggestion.

I am wondering if you possibly have a fear of loss in relationships? Sometimes this fear can cause one to latch on to something to feel concerned about, as a means of holding on. None of us can truly know another person's motivations or control their behaviors. You may find more freedom in the relationship when you are able to let go and trust. I understand that can be so very challenging.

Take care, Catmantoo, and welcome to our community.

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